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Tennessee features new and old stars in Vols’ latest scrimmage

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Tennessee donned full pads and held its first spring scrimmage on Wednesday. While the Vols have been physical to this point in spring camp, the Vols certainly ramped it up a notch.

Here is what you need to know about the Vols’ latest session as they prep for the 2024 season:

No Stopping Nico

“He’s been really good in practices leading up to it, being intentional, having conversations and making sure he’s getting on the same page with the skill guys, but also with the offensive line, growing and bringing energy to that group before a drive and during the course of it,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said of redshirt freshman quarterback Nico Iamaleava. “I thought today, just the way he functioned and operated, controlled the huddle (stood out).

“We went into a four-minute situation at the end. Understanding the play clock, game clock and all of that, just functioned and operated extremely maturely today.” 

Mike “The Man” Matthews

Tennessee freshman receiver Mike Matthews was one of the first players that Heupel cited after practice.

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“Mike made a big play down the sideline today,” Heupel said. “I thought he competed hard throughout the course of the day. 

Boo Who?

Freshman safety Boo Carter was one of a handful of defensive backs that stepped up in Wednesday’s scrimmage.

“I thought some of our young DB’s showed up just tackling in space,” Heupel said. “As we go through spring ball, those fundamentals are extremely important. Boo Carter did a great job making plays in space.”

“…John Slaughter did a great job today defending a deep ball down the sidelines and playing the 50/50 ball. He did a nice job on some of the tackles…Edrees Farooq is a young guy that’s consistently shown up here in the early part of spring ball too.” 

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Seldon Sat Down

Tennessee will be without running back Cam Seldon, who will miss the remainder of spring practice after undergoing shoulder surgery.

“With Cam, unfortunate, just the early part of spring ball, had an injury to his shoulder, had surgery on it,”  Heupel said. “We’ll kind of evaluate where we’re at as the rehab process gets started and base our decisions off of that and kind of where we project where he’s going to be.”

Seldon’s Subs

“D-Samp (Dylan Sampson) has been awesome with just energy, leadership, maturity and the understanding of our offense. The young guys continue to take steps forward. 

“Khalifa (Keith) has done a really nice job. He’s been extremely physical, was today as well. I thought he finished going forward all the time. DeSean Bishop, a young guy that got nicked up last year, his growth inside of our program, for him to get back on the field and showcase his skillset, handled the rehab process extremely well and I love the competition that he’s brought.

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